National Fisherman

FAIRBANKS — A proposed plan to allocate halibut catch shares between charter and commercial boats will not necessarily lead to a one-fish per day limit for charter boat customers in waters off Southcentral Alaska, according to a summary released by North Pacific Fishery Management Council staff.

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After more than eight years at the helm of the N.C. Fisheries Association, the state’s largest trade and lobbying group for commercial fishermen, Sean McKeon has resigned.
 

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In "Dirty Harry," Clint Eastwood memorably asked, do you "feel lucky?" It made for great theater, but it's no way to manage North Coast salmon. Unfortunately, that's been the policy of the U.S. Department of Interior toward the near-record run of chinook salmon that is migrating up the Trinity and Klamath rivers. Instead of a comprehensive strategy to fulfill its duty to protect this iconic fishery, the department is rolling the dice. So far, the salmon have been lucky.
 

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Today, we take it for granted that Seattle is homeport to a large Alaska fishing fleet and a related multi-billion dollar fish and maritime industry. TV shows like the Discovery Channel’s "Deadliest Catch" have made people more aware of what goes on in the Northern Pacific and the lucrative dangers of the Bering Sea fishery. But that industry wouldn't have happened for us Americans if it weren't for the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 — and that transaction might not have occurred without a nudge from Washington's own pioneers. It is little remembered today, but Seward's Folly, as the Alaska annexation was called, happened when it did in part because of a prod from the legislature in Olympia. Yes, sometimes they get it right.
 

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The Gloucester City Council presented Scott Memhard with the hat trick of political support Tuesday night when it joined Mayor Carolyn Kirk and the city’s state legislative contingent to support the removal of Cape Pond Ice’s Commercial Street property from the city’s Designated Port Area.
 

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It’s a gloomy, gray July morning when I hop from the pier at Gaviota State Beach to board the tiny research vessel that’s been following sea otters as they swim south of Point Conception and take up residence in the Santa Barbara Channel for the first time in centuries. But by the time the steady static of the telemetry receiver is interrupted by rhythmic, telltale blips indicating our first radio-collared otter of the day, the skies are positively pea-soupy, dark swatches of bobbing seaweed the only demarcation between ocean and air.
 

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WASHINGTON - It's being called the worst blue crab season in 20 years.
 
Last winter, the Chesapeake Bay was fully stocked with blue crabs. But now, the population is depleted and retailers are having to pull them from other states to bring them to the table.
 

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Recreational and commercial fishermen and coastal business should be very concerned about an effort by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to create more no-fishing zones off North and South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida in a misguided reaction to radical environmental groups that are pushing for extraordinary and unjustifiable protections for two deep-water grouper species.
 

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Alaska’s 2013 salmon season has yielded the largest catch ever, and the value of the fishery is also headed for the record books.
 
The statewide catch on Sept. 6 was nearing 265 million fish – the old record was 222 million in 2005. A bumper run of pink salmon is behind the big harvest - the mindboggling catch was approaching 213 million fish. The previous record was 161 million pinks, also in 2005.
 

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Marshfield — Local fishermen are concerned about a Stellwagen Bank proposal that would eliminate a key fishing area from the region’s industry. According to the Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Association (SBCBA), a proposed Sanctuary Environmental Research Area (SERA) would shut down all bottom fishing on 55 nautical square miles of Stellwagen Bank.
 

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live is a web video series featuring the latest fishing news, product information and industry analysis by our editors. In this episode:

  • Ruling favors commercial red snapper fishermen
  • Fishermen file suit over Texas oil spill
  • Florida gov. announces oyster recovery funding
  • Hatchery salmon were 36 percent of harvest
  • Maine's new elver rules delay season start

Inside the Industry

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.

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The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.

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